Why the “sacred” is a better resource than “religion” for understanding terrorism

Francis, Matthew (2016) Why the “sacred” is a better resource than “religion” for understanding terrorism. Terrorism and Political Violence, 28 (5). pp. 912-927. ISSN 0954-6553

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The popular media and many in academia often overstate the role that religion, and its supposedly unique qualities, has played in recent acts of terror. In this article, I argue that the notion of religious violence is unhelpful and that there is a more useful concept that we can utilize to draw out the values and ideas that play a role in the move to violence in both religious and secular groups. From a series of case studies on religious and non-religious groups, I have drawn out an alternative framework for investigating and learning from the role that beliefs play in motivations and justifications for terrorism. This framework uses the concept of non-negotiable (or “sacred”) beliefs. It is as applicable to secular as it is to religious groups, and can show us much more about how such beliefs can contribute to violence.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Terrorism and Political Violence
Additional Information:
Published with license by Taylor & Francis© Matthew D. M. Francis This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author have been asserted.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? beliefsideologyreligionsacred beliefsterrorismviolencereligious studiespolitical science and international relationssafety researchsociology and political sciencesafety, risk, reliability and quality ??
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Deposited On:
26 Feb 2015 16:16
Last Modified:
19 Jun 2024 00:16